(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Lady Bulldog volleyball team ran into a buzzsaw on Wednesday night as the Notre Dame Lady Bulldogs swept the home team 25-14 and 25-14 in two sets.
"That will be by far the toughest match we have all month, including districts," Sikeston head coach Steve Beydler said. "(Notre Dame) is a very good team. They're a tremendous serve receive team and they just keep you off balance with their tips and hard hits so well."
It didn't take long for Notre Dame to establish a quick dominance in the first set jumping out to a 7-1 lead Notre Dame's Kate Edwards attributed to three of their first six points.
Although Sikeston was able to bounce back and make it 9-5 with a 4-2 run, which included a point and an ace from Asia Liggins and a tip from Vonteria Applewhite, Notre Dame answered with two 5-point runs later in the set with numerous players making contributions for Notre Dame.
"We've been trying to mix up our offense," Notre Dame head coach Tara Stroup said. "We don't have very much height and we try not to set the same person over and over. That's been a good offensive weapon for us this year -- having four, five and six capable hitters."
A serve receive error by Sikeston ended the first set, 25-14.
Sikeston turned out to be the Bulldog team who had the early advantage in the second set grabbing a 3-2 lead following a block by Jalen Peet and a Notre Dame player crossing under the net.
But, like the first set, Sikeston found themselves down by 10 points in the blink of an eye after Notre Dame rattled off seven straight and Sikeston continuing to fight off self induced errors giving them a comfortable 15-5 lead.
At one point, Notre Dame was up 20-7 before another serve receive error by Sikeston ended the set and the match.
"In the second game, my team just decided they couldn't beat them," said Beydler. "It was the beginning of a downhill spiral. With (Notre Dame) continually pushing at you they keep the ball on your side of the court until you make a mistake.
"They just keep pounding it at you."
Liggins led Sikeston with five kills, while Mary Eiffert and Trenice Greer finished with four and three respectively.
Sikeston is back in action today in the SEMO Conference Tournament held at New Madrid County Central. Pool play will take place on Thursday with tournament play scheduled for Saturday.